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Richard Fortey, distinguished as both a paleozoologist and geologist, has improved public understanding of science. A senior paleontologist at the Natural History Museum in London, Fortey conducts research on the systematics, evolution and mode of life of trilobites — the extinct arthropods named for their three lobes, or segments. His interests include arthropod evolution more generally, especially the origin of major groups, and the relationships between divergence times as revealed by the molecular evidence and fossil record. In an innovative research career spanning nearly 30 years, he has added enormously to our knowledge about trilobites, other arthropods, and graptolites, and through them, the Lower Paleozoic global geography and climate.

The recipient of many honors, Fortey was awarded the Lyell Medal of the Geological Society of London in 1996 in recognition of his geological work, and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1997. In 2001, he received the senior medal of the Zoological Society of London, the Frink Medal.

Fortey’s latest book, The Earth: An Intimate History, will be published in the United States in fall 2004. He also is the author of The Hidden Landscape (1993), which won The Natural World Book of the Year Award, and Life: A Natural History of the First Four Billion Years of Life on Earth (1997), which was named one of the 10 Books of the Year by The New York Times. Fortey’s book, Trilobite: Eyewitness to Evolution (2000), has been praised as “a passionate and often lyrical account of his life with trilobites.” He is a regular contributor to the London Review of Books Times Literary Supplement and the London Evening Standard.

Author of Life: A Natural History of the First Four Billion Years of Life on Earth and Trilobite: Eyewitness to Evolution, Senior Paleontologist and Geologist at the Natural History Museum in London, and Fellow of the Royal Society

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